“Forensic investigators don’t get more real than Thomas Holland. One Drop of Blood is the first thriller in an exciting new series that looks at cold cases with lightning heat and speed — a fascinating read.”
— Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Death Dance
“Holland’s debut novel is a riveting read — filled with duplicity, cover-up, mystery and the realities (and frustrations) of forensic science. This is an engrossing thriller that immerses the reader in an historical injustice that only One Drop of Blood can resolve.”
— Dr. Michael Baden and Linda Kenney, authors of Remains Silent
“This is the best first novel I’ve read in years. Thomas Holland has solid forensic science credentials — he’s a leading expert in his field. That might get you to pick up this book, but block out some time — you won’t want to put it down. Engaging characters, high-octane suspense, and Holland’s remarkable storytelling skills combine with a voice that’s fresh, strong and true to provide a terrific read.”
— Jan Burke, author of Bloodlines and Bones
Interesting contrast in the Amazon editorial reviews. Compare the two:
From Publishers Weekly
The people castigated in this lively but self-contradictory jeremiad make up the “pollster-consultant industrial complex” of political handlers responsible for today’s bland, prefabricated candidates, carefully stage-managed campaigns and vacuous, focus-grouped policy proposals. Political reporter and Time pundit Klein (Primary Colors) traces the political consultants’ influence through pungent insider accounts of presidential campaigns from 1968 to the present, throwing in plenty of his own armchair quarterbacking of triumphs and fiascoes.
Throughout, he deplores the deadening of American political culture and celebrates the few politicians, like Ronald Reagan and John McCain, who occasionally slip the consultant’s leash, blurt out an unfashionable opinion, take a principled stand or otherwise demonstrate their unvarnished humanity. Unfortunately, Klein’s politics of personal authenticityâ€”he longs for a candidate “who gets angry, within reason; gets weepy, within reason… but only if these emotions are rare and real”â€”seems indistinguishable from the image-driven, style-over-substance politics he decries; he just wishes the imagery and style were more colorful and compelling. Moreover, Klein’s insistence that the electorate cares much more about the sincerity or “phoniness” of a politician’s character than about policy issues puts him squarely in the camp of people who think voters are stupid.
In 1948 when Harry S. Truman accepted the Democratic nomination, his spontaneous reference to Turnip Day in Missouri evoked a candor and authenticity that later helped him win the presidency. Klein, author of Primary Colors (1995), frames much of his analysis in the context of Truman’s remark. Unfortunately, political consultants have been intent on purging Turnip Day spontaneity in favor of poll-based, risk-averse blandness that bodes ill for American democracy. It was brilliant numbers cruncher Pat Caddell who gave birth to polling and introduced the notion of the permanent campaign. Reagan pollster Richard Wirthlin identified “Reagan Democrats” and helped broaden the base of Republicans. Among the other well-known consultants Klein dissects are Dick Morris, “whose smarminess was legendary and ambidextrous,” and Roger Ailes, “the perfect rogue.” Klein admits to a fondness for political mavericks who have “Turnip Day moments up the wazoo,” including Jerry Brown and Howard Dean, all big on candor but short on warmth.
Conversely, Bill Clinton is a “human Turnip Day” who knew how to use consultants but relied on his own political instincts. Most modern candidates have allowed consultants to market them to the point that they will never deviate off message and buy into packaged campaigns based entirely on research. Disdaining the convention of political books with a final chapter that offers solutions, Klein instead insists that politicians figure out for themselves how to engage and inspire voters. This is a passionate, often hysterical, but ultimately sad look at modern American politics.
Nicely acerbic. A cousin of Daniel Boorstin’s incomparable The Image (1961), lacking its intellectual heft, but still a pleasure for politics junkies.
Continetti offers this short summation in an interview at NRO:
The K Street Gang, however, asks a simple question: More than a decade after the Republican Revolution, have the Republicans changed Washington, or has Washington changed the Republicans? I think the latter is closer to the truth. For years, the GOP attacked big government and the Washington establishment . . . only to discover that, once they were in power and had made their own counterestablishment, that Washington might not be so bad after all. The book traces the genealogy of that contradiction, and how it is reflected in the lives of Jack Abramoff and others.
He also offers some good advice:
Lopez: You come at The K Street Gang as a smart, young, idealistic conservative. What’s your practical advice to those younger than you turned off by the Abramoff stuff â€” maybe further turned off to a career in politics/in the Beltway â€” because of your book?
Continetti: I hope that they decide to come to Washington after all and work to reform American politics and culture. I hope that they retain their sense of principle, but also not allow ideology to blind them to wrongdoing, or to bad actors, or to the grime of everyday political life. And I hope that they resist the temptations Washington offers talented young people â€” good food, good drink, the illusion of power, some small modicum of fame â€” which, by making someone comfortable, might also set them in their ways and curb their ambition to do good.
I also heard him on NPR earlier this week. You can listen to that conversation here
If you are look for some conservative red meat, this next book should do it:
The Global War on Your Guns : Inside the UN Plan To Destroy the Bill of Rights by Wayne LaPierre
In July 2001, the United Nations hosted a bonfire, but they weren’t roasting marshmallows-they were burning piles of guns seized from the citizens of member nations. There’s perhaps no better picture of what the UN thinks of private gun ownership, and in the summer of 2006, the gun-destroyers will be at it again, when the UN re-confers about regulating gun possession, pushing for an international criminal court that would usurp U.S. sovereignty and open the door for global arms-controllers to finally enforce their anti-gun agenda. In this vital book, LaPierre sounds the alarm, reveals the secrets, and shows the path back to freedom, national sovereignty, and independence.